I’m about to give you some magic words and numbers…

When used in the right order, they can get complete strangers to do your bidding.

Don’t worry, there’s no trickery or mumbo-jumbo involved.

This is all based in hard science…

They’re the words and numbers that, when placed on your website, will by-pass your customers’ rational decision-making and encourage them to listen to you, buy from you, sign up to your emails, or feel goodHow to Read Minds & Influence People things about your products.

The reader will react to them without thinking because these words go direct to the ‘buy buttons’ in their brains.

Before I do that, let me explain a bit of secret science that’s going on behind the scenes of companies like Google….

The Science of Neuromarketing

Neuromarketing is an emerging field of psychology that looks at how the human brain reacts to stimuli.

The aim is to work out what’s happening in the brain when we make buying decisions.

For example, look at any advert for a car (“sexy, sleek aspirational”), package holiday (“be a proper happy family”), life insurance plan (“don’t let everyone down”) or fast food restaurant (“a place you can rely on to make you feel good”).

They all invoke a strong emotional response.

That’s how they make a connection with the customer and convince them to buy their product in preference to their rivals.

Whatever you are selling, you need to do this too.

But first you must understand what those gut emotions are likely to be.

Okay, so you could ask customers to fill out a feedback form or ask them directly what they like about your and your product.

But these aren’t always reliable.  

People don’t always say what they mean, or express their true motives.

However, with neuromarketing, researchers can tap directly into the brain to see what that customer is really thinking and feeling.

I don’t know if you’ve seen Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange, where Malcolm MacDowell is strapped to a chair with his eyeballs peeled open, while a series of images are flashed before him?

Well, this is getting close…

To achieve a deeper understanding of what really makes consumers buy, neuromarketing researchers attach electrodes to the subject’s head to record their frontal brain activity.

Next, they’re shown a series of images related to a product.

It might be the product itself (a car, a burger, a pair of shoes) or advertising ideas (attractive women, handsome men, crying babies, sunsets).

The brain’s responses are then recorded.

Obviously, this information can then be used to create advertsing – both online and offline – that works directly on the subconscious mind.

Yes, in the wong hands this powerful insight coud be exploited for ‘the dark side’. It’s no surprise then that those championing neuromarketing have tried to distance it from the negative ‘mind control’ image and reposition it as ‘decision science’ or ‘consumer neuroscience’.

Right now, American companies such as Google, CBS and Frito-Lay are using this technique to measure consumer thoughts about their advertisements and products. It helps them predict the emotions, ideas and images customers are most likely to respond to.

Why your customers’ brains matter to you

If you think this is only something for big global brands to worry about (or afford), think again.

In an online world where people are hit with an average 10,000 sales messages every day, neuroscience can help you hotwire your customers’ brains, by directly hitting their emotional buy triggers.

And while ‘neuromarketing’ is a recent buzzword, this is something I’ve already been helping you do, albeit in a small scale, lo-fi manner (no electrodes necessary!)

As I revealed in last months’ issue of Digital Upstart (the new name for Digital Upstart – more of that below), the secret of selling and persuading is to create a profile of your ideal customer.

You need to build up their psychological profile, then work out what their emotional triggers are most likely to be.

What are their goals?
What makes them angry or happy?
What problems do they need to solve?
How should your product make them feel?

It’s really a method of reading people’s minds.

And while it might not have the deadly accuracy of a wired-up subject in a laboratory, it’s a pretty effective method of predicting how your customer feels and then targeting your product directly at them.

What’s more, it doesn’t cost you anything, and yet it can utterly transform your website, emails, landing pages, webinars and other online materials.

There’s far more to it, of course, so I’d urge you to go to the website and look at the article from last month – or sign up now to read it if you’re not a member.

Today, though, I want to give you a cheeky shortcut…

Magic Words That Trigger ‘Buy’ Buttons

While profiling your ideal customer is an essential first step in any online business, there are some easy ways to hotwire almost anyone’s brain.

Before neuromarketing was even named as a legitimate area of study,  influential direct marketer Ted Nicholas describes these in his book Magic Words that Bring You Riches. They’re shortcuts to the gut emotions of your customer. And copywriters have known about them for decades.

Back in 1963, copywriting legend David Ogilvy published a list of what he considered to be the 20 most persuasive words in advertising. They were:

1.    Suddenly
2.    now
3.    announcing
4.    introducing
5.    improvement
6.    amazing
7.    sensational
8.    remarkable
9.    revolutionary
10.    Startling
11.    miracle
12.    magic
13.    offer
14.    quick
15.    easy
16.    wanted
17.    challenge
18.    compare
19.    bargain
20.    hurry

These words are very good at flagging up a prospect, catching the eye and stimulating a response.

But there are other, deeper words that truly get their hooks into people.

For instance, which of these words triggers an emotion in you?

Fish   Cod   Shark

Most people say ‘shark’, as it screams danger. There’s a lot more emotion associated with this word. It speaks of threat, fear, and vulnerability.

Using powerful emotional words like these in copy creates strong emotions in the reader, either negatively or positively. Here are some examples…

•    Proven
•    Cure
•    Blissful
•    Kill
•    Love
•    Dream
•    Exposed
•    Agony
•    Helpless
•    Insider
•    Taboo
•    Scam
•    Controversial
•    Payback
•    Reclaim
•    Simple
•    Fleece
•    Swindle
•    Hate
•    Greed
•    Iron clad
•    Bullet proof
•    Banned
•    Never again
•    Tired
•    Results

Try adding these to headlines on your website, blog post, sales email, or adverts.

Or you could try a magic number…

There are magic numbers too. For instance, you’ll probably have seen many headlines like this:

•    17 things you didn’t know about alcohol
•    23 secrets of younger looking skin
•    7 magic words that will make you a success

This is because odd numbers work better than even numbers.

The more specific and ‘realistic’ a number, the more believable it is.

For instance, “Make £387.53 before 10:30am tomorrow” sounds more believable than “Make £400 tomorrow” because it sounds like something that’s actually been achieved.

Common sense when you think about it.

There are a lot more tricks where these came from. But my aim today is purely to show you how it’s possible to hack the brains of your customers and convince them to buy.

Used carefully, magic words and numbers can lift response. But they’re not enough if you haven’t worked out the true emotions of your ideal customer. So this is something I’d like you to start doing immediately, whether you’re set up online or still formulating your business plan.

All the details are on the members-only website. If you’re not a member, you can join for a trial here.

And Finally… The Big Reveal!

From next week things will look a bit different.

As you know Digital Upstart is having a bit of a makeover and one of the big changes will be in the name.

So from next week, Digital Upstart will be known as Digital Upstart. The content will be the same, but the top of these emails will look like this…

So when it arrives in your inbox make sure you don’t delete!